Stupid eBay policy about sellers accepting Paypal payments

By | February 16, 2008

Every once in a while, I head on over to eBay to dispose of something I no longer need that somebody else might want. This isn’t a business or even a hobby for me; it’s just a useful tool for getting rid of things that I’d rather not just throw away.

When I’ve done this in the past, I’ve always specified that buyers could pay me with a cashier’s check, a money order or a balance transfer via Paypal. I always specified explicitly that I will not accept credit card payments via Paypal, because that requires upgrading to a Premier or Professional Paypal account, after which Paypal would take a percentage of every payment made to me from any source. With my current, un-upgraded Paypal account, I can accept balance transfer Paypal payments for free.

I haven’t actually done this in a while, but when I went onto eBay tonight to sell some old cordless phones, I was informed that eBay’s new policy (how new, exactly, I don’t know) is that I’m not allowed to accept Paypal payments on eBay unless I’m willing to upgrade my Paypal account to Premier and give Paypal a percentage of all payments I receive.

EBay owns Paypal. EBay will already make money off of everything I sell through them, because they charge auction fees that are based in part on the eventual sale price of the items. But apparently that isn’t good enough… They want to force me to let them double-dip by taking a percentage of the sale price again when I am paid. That’s completely bogus.

I therefore indicated in my listing that I would not accept Paypal payments, and I put this comment at the bottom of my item description: “Payment by cashier’s check or money order only because of eBay’s stupid policy of not allowing me to accept Paypal payments unless I’m willing to pay to upgrade my account to one that can accept credit cards.”

Of course, I can’t imagine what I’ll do if the winning bidder contacts me out-of-band after the auction and asks if he can send me a Paypal balance transfer payment for the sale price without going through eBay.

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